The midfielder's number of passes and touches per game have increased massively since the new manager took over at Blackburn Rovers
On this day: Zurab Khizanishvilli, Geremi, Danny Guthrie; it's fair to say Newcastle are rather more prepared for the second tier this time around under Rafa Benitez.
A game by game analysis of all the opening weekends debutantes, including Cazorla at Arsenal, Petric at Fulham, Kightly at Stoke, and yes - Joe Allen at Liverpool.
Steven McClaren has warned Newcastle United they will have to pay 'stupid money' to sign leading transfer target Luuk de Jong.
Guthrie has signed at Reading after leaving Newcastle United on a free.